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September, 2007

  1. Microsoft Office Ultimate Edition for $59.95?

    September 21, 2007 by Ryan

    Microsoft Office Ultimate Edition for $59.95?
    I heard about this promotion, and couldn’t quite believe it. But it sure appears to be legit.
    If any of my eligible family members don’t want to participate, I might just hand them $60 bucks and ask them to buy it and give it to me. (did I say that out loud?)Here’s the promotion website…
    http://www.theultimatesteal.com/home.asp

    This is an official Microsoft® site proclaiming that the promotion is legit:
    http://www.microsoft.com/education/ultimatesteal.mspx

    The package includes
    Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 (A retail version is almost $700) with a perpetual license, including the following applications:
    Accessâ„¢ 2007
    Accounting Express 2007
    Excel® 2007
    InfoPath® 2007
    Groove 2007
    OneNote® 2007
    Outlook® 2007 with Business Contact Manager (requires a separate download)
    PowerPoint® 2007
    Publisher 2007
    Word 2007

    To be eligible:
    You must hold a valid email address at a U.S. educational institution ending in .edu (for example, leina@contoso.university.edu)
    AND
    Be actively enrolled with at least 0.5 course load.

    Also, you must be able to provide proof of enrollment status (ie, student card) upon request by Microsoft. If you are unable to provide proof of enrollment, you will be required to pay the full retail price of Office Ultimate 2007 (approximate ERP $679USD).

    To get the special price, you must DOWNLOAD the program. You can obtain a CD for an additional fee at time of purchase.

    Ryan’s Recommendation: Be a cheapskate and download it, but be sure to burn a copy for backup purposes!

  2. The real dill

    September 11, 2007 by Ryan

    The other day, I ran out of pickles.

    See, my routine each morning is to prepare a sandwich for my lunch that day. I quite often have whatever lunch meat was on sale that week, or sometimes what was leftover from Sunday dinner. I like a little slice of cheese (trying to keep that thinner though, as the good doctor said to watch my cholesterol intake), the meat, mustard, horseradish sauce, and a few slices of dill pickles, in between two slices of wheat bread. It is not too often, but when I can add some iceberg lettuce, that just makes the sandwich extra special.

    Since a kid, I have loved pickles. Just typing up this message, thinking about the crisp texture and sharp flavor, my mouth is salivating.

    So like I said, the other day, I ran out of pickles. For a few days, I made sandwiches that were incomplete, without the pickle. They were just not as good.

    The next opportunity that I was at the grocery store, I bought a new jar of “Western Family” pickles. I picked them because they were on sale. Though I usually prefer a bigger name brand, I thought I could give these a try.

    At home, I tasted one. They were really good. I was impressed. I almost liked them better than the regular name brand kinds. Their taste really blended well on my sandwiches too. I thought that I had accidently found a new favorite pickle.

    The other night, I had the jar out, adding a pickle slice to my plate with a grilled cheese sandwich (I was trying something different). I don’t know why, but I spun the jar around and looked at the back side of the label. And I saw something that disturbed me. “Made in India.”

    Whoa! Stop! Backup the horse! Made in India? Do we not have facilities in America where we can produce pickles of this quality and flavor? Can one of those facilities go and get the recipe from the Indian family out west and bring it home to make them? And how far west does one have to go to find that western family in India? Is pickle making one of those jobs that American’s just won’t do anymore?

    So I feel bad now. I’d much rather employ a Native-American Pickle-Making Indian than an Indian Pickle-Making Indian. I’d rather keep people producing things here at home than shopping abroad for my pickles.

    Me: Where are the pickles?
    Store Clerk: Just head west, take a short dip down and under Japan and pass by nearly all of China, and you’ll find some more pickles.

    When the toilet needed a repair a few weeks ago, I had a choice at the hardware store. I found a replacement part that advertised being made in the US, or another one that advertised made in China and Packaged in Mexico. Without question or hesitation, I bought the US part and installed it in my the tank. My toilet services a US family, therefore I thought it best to give my money back to a US employee.

    But I never even thought I would have to pay the same attention to my pickle jar.